Holiday Bonuses by Susan Tokayer

I always get a few calls in November and December from clients, asking what is an appropriate year-end bonus for their nanny or housekeeper?  Over the years I have heard of bonuses that range from a small gift of  box of chocolates, to a bonus of $6000.

So, how do you determine what you will give your employee for her bonus?  It is standard to give one week’s salary, if your employee has been employed for one year.  Most families then give 2 week’s salary the second year, and thereafter.

However, there are other factors that affect what employers give their employees.  If you had another child, or you or your spouse was unemployed for part of the year, or some other factor that reduced the family’s income, maybe the bonus is on the lower side this year.

On the other hand, if you are fortunate enough to have considerable disposable income, and your nanny does an exceptional job, then maybe she will receive a very generous bonus this year.

I think the most important thing is that your employee know that she is valued.  If she does an exceptional job, but you are struggling financially, and aren’t comfortable giving a bonus, let her know that this is a difficult year, but that a small bonus is not a reflection of her work.  A personal gift will be much appreciated: a card expressing your gratitude, a family picture, or home baked cookies will be much appreciated.

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